R Gruppe Porsche 911 drifting with Derek Bell

Our friend Thorsten in Germany has shared some cool throwback pics of his early 911 in driver training sessions with a previous owner and a certain Mr Bell. It’s sweet enough to find pics of your car on track in a previous life, but how much more delightful to discover Derek Reginald Bell MBE sitting behind the wheel.

One picture shows the pitlane lineup, where I spied another mate: Bata Mataja, with wife Rosa and his super-cool Porsche 356 race car, Blue Baby. Bata has shared umpteen tales from the Blue Baby archives with Ferdinand, so it was great to send him a previously unseen photo of the car.

Porsche 911 Derek Bell Laguna Seca 2

“Running Blue Baby at Laguna would have been very early on in my racing days. I’ll have to think about what club it was with: it may have been a Porsche Club event, but not too sure. Great picture: I think I beat all these guys! 😀 ”

I am also pretty sure these are Porsche Club driving days. Asking Thorsten led to discussions on his car and where it came from – it is a very cool story.

“Well, I was fortunate to find the car I was dreaming to find at Dunkel Brothers in 2003. It looked right and felt even better. The seller was a very nice guy that knew his stuff: he had taken good care of it and it was streets ahead of the other cars I had looked at within my budget.

“A good honest car, we instantly clicked and I have loved my time with it to date. It is tied to many priceless memories: I drove it out in LA for twelve months on Mulholland, at the German Autofest, Palm Springs, getting hooked up with the RGruppe right away.

“Then it came home to Germany and has since done local rallies, trips to Gmünd, drives through France, Belgium, The Netherlands and to Classics at the Castle in England. It’s even been on the proving grounds in Weissach.”

It certainly proves itself in these pics. Thorsten thinks some of the DB shots were taken at Sears Point, but I know this DB pic was taken a few weeks ago at Collier Dade Airfield in Florida, where our Jamie recently worked with Derek again, this time on an official Bentley shoot. A well-matched pair of Porsche fans: the pic still makes me laugh. Perfect!

Derek Bell James Lipman Bentley

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